The Sea in You Cover
Title: The Sea in You
Creators: Format: Webcomic EBook Print
Color: Color
Romanceiness: Romantic Elements
Heat: PG13
Tags: queer bisexual f-f mermaid paranormal young adult coming of age hard of hearing sign language disabled character
Where to Buy or Read:

If you'd like to purchase a copy of this book, please consider using the Amazon link to support the site or from Iron Circus to best support the indie comics we love!

 AmazonIron Circus

Synopsis from the Creator:

15-year-old Corinth was just trying to clean up the beach; she never expected to meet a mermaid, let alone be nearly drowned by one. It was the start of a very strange friendship!

After Skylla, the deadly fanged mermaid, mysteriously lets Corinth live, they grow closer through a cautious exchange of stories, gifts, jokes, and sign language. Mermaids, it turns out, eat people, but however terrifying Skylla may look, she’s a little younger, a little smaller, and perhaps a little too soft for all that. Bewitched by Corinth and their growing bond, she learns about all the best things in life on land: books, burgers, donuts, and this strange chattering human sound called laughter. But a storm is brewing – both at sea and in Corinth’s increasingly dangerous relationship with her obsessively jealous boyfriend – and a magical bargain may be the only thing that can save her, at a tremendous cost.

A whimsical dark fantasy retelling of “The Little Mermaid,” The Sea in You upends everything you thought you knew about magical creatures of the deep, on a whirlwind journey to a whole new world you’ve only dreamed of before!

Love In Panels' Review:Review of The Sea in You.

Review: The Sea in You, by Jessi Sheron

[fa icon="calendar"] Feb 23, 2023 2:23:08 PM / by Suzanne

Way back in 2018, I wrote a post about Merfolk in Romance and included what was then a webtoon publishing on Tapas, The Sea in You. Five years later--dang, I've been at this for a while--Iron Circus is publishing it in all its sapphic underwater glory! This full-color book is out in March, 2023.

This is a loose retelling of The Little Mermaid, so there comes a point where one character gives up her voice. Corinth's mother is deaf and the family speaks American Sign Language. Skylla is eager to learn everything about humans, including spoken English and ASL.

Corinth's awful boyfriend Seth? Not so interested. CW: abuse.

Corinth is a cute, curvy goth girl and after being bullied at her last school, she struggles to find her people at her new high school. Seth, a goth dingleberry and lead singer of a band of not-dingleberries, follows standard abuser protocol: identify an insecure girl and convince her all you need is each other. Seth has an abusive father and has (unintentionally) learned to follow the pattern. He routinely makes a big deal of any perceived slight, like if Corinth doesn't text him back within 3 minutes. Things escalate as Corinth builds a relationship with Skylla and eventually Corinth realizes how controlling and manipulative Seth is.

Skylla experiences abuse as well. Her many sisters are obsessed with strength and see Skylla as weak and in need of toughening up. She's forced to defend herself and Corinth a few times and ultimately she learns she also needs to break an abusive cycle. Unlike her sisters, her parents are supportive of her. And unlike her sisters, Skylla prefers to eat hamburgers over humans.

As you might expect, communication and cultural differences are major themes in The Sea in You. One of the things that makes the story so warm is how Sheron decided to use their communication issues as a way for the characters to bond rather than to create distance between them.

Skylla says at one point, "Even with my sisters, so many, but non understand me. Maybe I am just wrong. Wrong at words, wrong at understanding, hatched wrong."

Corinth points out, "Understanding others is hard. Humans have a hard time with it even when we know all the same words. I feel like all I do is mess up at it, too."

There are some things that don't quite make sense, however. When the book opens, we learn that Skylla knows how to speak because she listened to people on boats for years, but she gets upset when Corinth laughs because she interprets the baring of teeth as an attempt to scare her. Surely, if Skylla had learned an entire language by observing humans, she'd have learned or at least gotten used to some of our mannerisms. (This is a mermaid story though, so we're already suspending our disbelief.)

The relationship between Corinth and Skylla is one of friendship that grows into something romantic as the book goes on, but Corinth doesn't cheat on Seth. Romance readers will want to know that the book doesn't feel quite complete, in fact it ends with, "The End. For now..."

At its heart, The Sea in You is a queer, inclusive, modern take on The Little Mermaid with a focus on communication and liberation from interpersonal violence. Don't worry, it's also really funny.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of this book, please consider using the Amazon link to support the site or from Iron Circus after release to best support the indie comics we love!

 AmazonIron Circus

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Topics: review